Soil Survey

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
July 2008
End Date
June 2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2008, Chp. 367, Sec. 2, Subd. 05b
Appropriation Language

$400,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for soil survey mapping and interpretation efforts in areas of the state, including Crow Wing, Pine, Cook, Lake, and Isanti Counties, and to accelerate the delivery of soils data through the Internet as a Web-based soil survey. The new soil surveys must be done on a cost-share basis with local and federal funds.

2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

Overall Project Outcome and Results
Accurate soils information is essential for evaluating the potential for land to support development, crop and forest production, and for identifying the most suitable locations for conservation practices and other land uses. Readily accessible local soil information is critical to informing conservation decisions and provides a foundation for sustainable land use planning. The soil survey is the mechanism for how this basic natural resource information is made available to land use authorities and landowners to make the best land use decisions.

In the ongoing, multi-year project to map, classify, interpret, and Web-publish an inventory of the soils of Minnesota, this one-year phase of the project focused on accelerating the completion of a Statewide soil survey, increase soil mapping in targeted areas, and enhancing soils data through increased sample collection, availability, and interpretation. Specifically:

  1. 71,000 acres mapped in Crow Wing County;
  2. 32,000 acres mapped in Pine County;
  3. 85,000 acres mapped in Koochiching County;
  4. 80,000 acres mapped in the Crane Lake subset of St. Louis County;
  5. Data from 1,000 soil samples (some dating back to the 1970's) were interpreted for the first time and incorporated into Soil Surveys for many Minnesota counties;
  6. Landuse effects on soil carbon were determined on 118 sites in 14 counties throughout the State, this data can be used to develop soil carbon management guidance.

The soil survey project was extremely successful and many of the mapping goals were exceeded. Mapping surpassed initial acreage goals in both Crow Wing and Pine Counties, and the soil surveys for Koochiching and St. Louis Counties were completed 1 year ahead of schedule. A report detailing the results of re-analysis of lab samples from the 1970's highlighting landuse impacts on soil carbon will be available in January 2011.

Project Results Use and Dissemination
The Soil Survey project funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund is highlighted as a BWSR feature project ( on the Agency's homepage. All the data, mapping information, and interpretations are available on the Web Soil Survey as a user-friendly, GIS-based application. Web Soil Survey provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world.

Project Details